Fun_People Archive
9 Jan
ISO 5128, standard for "Representation of human sexes"

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 19:43:10 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: ISO 5128, standard for "Representation of human sexes"

[Aren't standards wonderful?  There are so many, I'm glad we have an  
international organization to keep track of them ... (And thanks to Keith  
Bostic and Guy Harris for providing the www pointer.)  Don't miss the last  
section... -psl]

ISO 5218 

Representation of human sexes

Scope and field of application

The international standard specifies a uniform representation of human sexes  
for the interchange of information. 

It is intended to 

1. reduce the time required to record and/or format the representation of
   sexes and transmit them; 

2. improve clarity and accuracy of interchange; 

3. minimize the amount of human intervention required for communicating the
   representation of sexes; and 

4. reduce costs.

This international standard does not prescribe file sequences, storage media,  
programming languages, or other features of information processing to be used  
in its implementation. 

This international standard meets the requirements of most applications that  
need to code human sexes. It does not provide codes for sexes that may be  
required in specific medical or scientific applications or in applications  
that need to code sex information for other than human beings. 

This international standard does not supplant national standards for coding  
sexes that are designed based upon codes derrived from the names of the sexes  
in the various languages (for example `M' for `Male' and `F' for `Female' in  
the English language.) It provides a numeric code that is independent of  
language-derived codes and as such is intended to provide a common basis for  
the international exchange of information containing sex data elements. 

Representation of sexes

Sex is represented by a one-character numeric code. 

The following data items and codes are used:
	Not known	0
	Male		1
	Female		2
	Not specified	9


The use of this standard and associated codes may be referred to by the  
designator `SEX'. 


No significance is to be placed on the fact that `Male' is coded `1' and  
`Female' is coded `2'. This standard was developed based upon predominant  
practice of the countries involved and does not convey any meaning of  
importance, ranking or any other basis that could imply discrimination. 

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